Patrick Reed reigns in New York as McIlroy endures bumpy round
Former Masters winner moves to second in FedEx Cup rankings behind Brooks Koepka
Patrick Reed plays a shot from a bunker on the second hole during the final round of The Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Patrick Reed secured his first win since claiming last year’s US Masters title with a closing round 69 for a winning total of 16-under-par 268 in the Northern Trust Championship in Jersey City, a shot clear of Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, with Rory McIlroy failing to gatecrash the party but still managing to secure his 13th top-10 finish of the season.
For most of the final round, Spain’s Jon Rahm – the DDF Irish Open champion – had seemed set to lay claim to the prize only to falter on the homeward journey with back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th that ultimately saw him sign for a 69 to finish tied-third with Harold Varner III two shots behind Reed.
Reed’s win enabled him to jump from 50th in the FedEx Cup standings at the start of the tournament up to second behind Brooks Koepka in that season-long race with only two events – this week’s BMW Championship and next week’s Tour Championship – remaining, with the overall winner scooping a $15 million bonus payday.
McIroy’s rollercoaster of a round, seven birdies mixed with five bogeys, for a closing 69 – which left him on 272, 12-under-par, in tied-sixth place – meant the Northern Irishman slipped one place, from third to second, in the season’s Fed Ex Cup rankings with just two counting events left.
“Too many bogeys. I made enough birdies but too many loose shots, I haven’t had it this week in terms of control of my ball flights. There is a little work in progress, if I had a bit more control of my bvall I could have had some more decent rounds. I am still right there (in the FedEx Cup). I kept fighting to the very end, the game is right there for the most part and hopefully I will be in the winner’s circle again soon,” said McIlroy, in claiming a 13th top-10 finish so far this season.
On his first outing since lifting the Claret Jug last month, two double bogeys on the front nine – at the fifth and ninth – saw Shane Lowry turn in 41 strokes, but he finished strongly with four birdies in his last seven holes for a finishing 73 for 281, three-under-par, that saw him finish in tied-53rd position.
Lowry dropped five place in the FedEx Cup standings, from 20th to 25th, but plays in this week’s BMW Championship in Chicago and remains inside the top-30 who will compete in the Tour Championship in a fortnight’s time.